The Notting Hill Carnival, held annually in West London, has become the biggest street festival in Europe.
It celebrates the British West Indian community and cultural unity as a whole, born from improving racial tensions in the ’60s. The event features elaborate floats and colorful costumed performers. Spectators dance to the sound of steel bands and calypso music, and visit food stalls along the route
Residents and performers dress up in elaborate costumes and music and dancing fills the streets. Whether or not you can travel to London for the festival, celebrate from August 24 – 26!
Notting Hill Carnival - History
Over 1 million people attended Notting Hill Carnival
This makes the festival the largest street festival in Europe and one of the largest in the world.
Notting Hill Carnival born
The carnival is led by members of the British West Indian community.
- Early 1960s
Two events inspired the Notting Hill Carnival
The St Pancras Town Hall responded to problematic racial relations at the time, and the London Free School festival was the first outdoor festival in the area celebrating cultural unity.
Notting Hill Carnival Activities
Cook a Caribbean dish
Caribbean food is a great fusion of the many countries that first visited this place. You'll find European, Latin American, Cajun, and African influences in many traditional recipes.
Listen to Caribbean music
Reggae, meringue, calypso, rumba, and many others are examples of Caribbean music genres. During the Notting Hill Carnival take some time to learn more about these genres and appreciate their uniqueness.
Visit a program at the Notting Hill Carnival
Over the two day festival, there are many different activities and programs going on. Take some time to watch a parade, a music competition, or listen to a Caribbean history lesson.
4 Celebrities With Caribbean Roots
Rihanna was born in Barbados before coming to the United States.
The rapper was born in Trinidad and sometimes references the country in her songs.
Bob Marley was famous for priding himself in his Jamaican heritage and becoming famous as a mostly reggae singer and songwriter.
Although Washington was born in New York, her mother comes from Jamaican heritage.
Why We Love Notting Hill Carnival
Much of what people know about the Caribbean is the beautiful landscape. The Notting Hill Carnival shows people that there's so much more to the region, including the food, dancing, music, and of course, people!
One of the most interesting parts of the festival are the colorful, feathery costumes that people wear. Blues, greens, yellows, and pinks can be seen for blocks as dancers make their way through the parade.
While it has previously landed the event in trouble, one of the charms of the Notting Hill Carnival is when attendees let loose and have a good time. Thousands of security personnel now staff the festival to ensure everyone's safe.